We are so taken up with life and the responsibilities that come with it that we have forgotten to focus on ourselves. By that I don’t mean our studies, careers, jobs, we are, all, stressing on those, way too much that we normally should. I mean the lack of focus on ‘us’; our selves, our minds, our mental well being. We have become more or less robotic, working mindlessly our days off, be it at home or at work.
Whether you are a student, an executive, a manager, a doctor, or a homemaker, however demanding your work is, you have got to take out some time for yourself. For lowering the stress that is daily building up inside your brain, you need to let it breathe, let it relax, give it space to grow!
Many psychologists believe that maintaining mental well being is as easy as anything else that you do. Peter Kinderman, President of the British Psychological Society, in his 2014 paper, A prescription for Psychiatry, has laid down 5 simple methods for maintaining a long lasting contentment and mental well being.
Putting them in the simper words and adding my own views, here they are:
1. Keep Active
As in physical activity. Move, don’t remain stagnant for long. Give your body something to do. Exert it, not to extremes, but keep your bodies engaged in movement.
- Join a gym, if possible, and be regular.
- Go for a walk, everyday.
- Do simple exercises at home, they are many easy ones shown on the internet.
- Go cycling, swimming, any activity you like.
- Play outdoor sports, tennis, football, cricket.
- Go run every morning.
The important point is to find an activity that you enjoy, and it suits your fitness and health levels.
- Makes you healthier.
- Improves your mood.
- Improves psychological well being.
2. Maintain your Relationships
Family and Friends are your support system. Keep connected to them. No one ever lived happily, alone! Surround yourself with loving people, good friends, and you will find it easy to relax and be happy. Also, don’t forget to maintain the relationship with your Creator. He is always there, even in your loneliness and He is able to put peace in your mind and heart. So always stay connected to Him, that is one connection you don’t want to strain let alone break!
- Pray Daily, Remember your Creator, Meditate, whatever suits you.
- Stay connected to your family and friends in and outside of Facebook, Twitter, Whatsapp, any other social media you use for that.
- Call your family and friends from time to time.
- Go for lunch, make dinner for them.
- Go for an aimless walk with your better half.
- Do something together.
- Connect with the colleagues at work.
- Good supporting relationships are essential contributors to a healthier, happier and longer lives.
- Loneliness poses a risk to our health similar to that of smoking and over eating.
- Relationships and the social support that they bring appear to lower our risk of heart disease and reduce the chances of developing dementia in old age.
3. Keep your Brain Active
Just like your body requires exercise, so does your brain. It is after all the most complex and amazing thing that there is! You need to keep it running and for that you need to engage it. And not in some negative, idle thoughts, but in something good, positive, and productive.
- Learn something new. Can be any skill, riding a bike, DIY projects, anything you like and are or were at some point interested in, before life beat you to it.
- Study something out of your comfort zone. There are so many free online courses available all overt he net to choose from! Tease your brains a little.
- Cook something new.
- Read. Make reading goals, at least one book every month.
- Do a crossword. Finish the Sudoku, any puzzle that makes your brain work.
- Write. Keep a Journal. It is more rewarding than you think!
- Mental activity, relaxes you, contributing to happiness.
- Learning new skills give you a sense of achievement.
- Boosts self confidence and self esteem, makes you feel good about yourself.
- Keeps you focused on the activity and hence less chances and time on negative thoughts and rumination.
Someone has correctly put it in as, “Caring about others is fundamental to our happiness.” There is real evidence to the fact that getting involved in charitable activity makes people happier. We are a social community, and helping each other out is an ingredient to live a happy life. Giving, does not necessitate just money. You can give your time and your energy to someone or something and feel the magic it works on your well being in return.
- Support charitable cause.
- Join a volunteer group.
- Do something nice for a friend, your neighbor.
- Help someone in need, a stranger, can be just as simple as taking off some shopping bags from an old lady.
- Thank someone for their help.
- Smile, just like that!
- Research has proven that helping others improves our own happiness.
- It makes us feel good, useful.
- Helping others improves mood and reduces our stress.
- It increases our own feelings of competence.
Mindfulness is defined as the state of being aware of and attentive to what is happening in the present.Perhaps the hardest thing to achieve throughout the day. While working, walking, or doing some routine job, we often find our minds wander to past or tot he future without actually concentrating on the present. This results in rumination, anxiety which does no good to our mental well being. Kinderman puts it like this, To be mindful is to be consciously and intentionally aware of what is happening around us as well as what is going on in
our minds (our thoughts and feelings). The ability to be mindful can be learned, and has been shown to have significant benefits for our mental well-being and physical health.
- Take notice of things around you. Use all your senses, they are given for a reason, you know. Use them. See how things look, smell, feel, taste, sound.
- Be curious. Remark on the unusual, don’t just blindly pass by it.
- Notice the changing seasons.
- Be aware of the world around you.
- Be aware of your own thoughts and feelings.
- Savor the moment.
- Mindfulness reduces the feelings of stress.
- Mindfulness helps to relax and improves sleep.
- It improves our relationships by increasing pour levels of empathy and compassion.
So, that is it. the 5 simple methods you can work on to reduce your stress, to relax a little more, to keep yourself active in body and mind, to make your life, happier, longer and content 🙂